A review of The Connected Child

I celebrate the growing interest in adoption in our churches today. Children in need of a home are finding places of safety, belonging and love in Christian families and churches. Yet often adoptive children come from hard places: international contexts where the care did not provide the love and safety that was needed, domestic adoptions in which expectant mothers did not provide a safe place for the baby’s development, and families where abuse and neglect were experienced in a repeated fashion until parental rights are terminated. Into this challenging reality comes the book The Connected Child with hope and proven strategies built on years of research and hands on experience. Its tenets are helpful not only for parents but also for Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers. In fact, the strategies in this book are helpful for all parents as they walk the parenting journey! Dr. Purvis and her team speak of compassion as a starting place, and then delve into brain chemistry, issues of attachment and chronic fear. She emphasizes how the common approaches of respect, using words, gentleness and kindness and offering choices and consequences can be shaped to connect with children who are struggling with behavior issues. They explore why the “old way doesn’t work” with children from these contexts and how misbehavior can be seen as an opportunity for teaching. Offering hopeful strategies of “re-do’s”, “time in” rather than “time out”, firm yet gentle touches, sensory activities, playful engagement and positivity Purvis fills the tool box parent and children’s ministry leader. Multiple strategies can be summarized in their IDEAL approach to dealing with challenges which includes...

ESV Action Bible Review

A few years ago I posted a video of my son sharing his thoughts about the Action Bible. The following year David C Cook released the Action Bible Handbook and I reviewed it here. Well, they are back with a full fledged ESV study Bible and once again, I’m impressed. My son, like many preteen boys loves comics. I’ve shared in the past how I could find him in his room researching, yes researching, what stories were in the Bible but not in the Action Bible. I think any parent would place that in the win category. My friend Sam Luce has shared on the importance of having a bible that fits your child’s reading age so I’ll refer you there and simply say that the The Action Bible Study Bible ESV should be on the list for your preteen. The first thing that caught my eye is the illustrations. Like the Action Bible, they are outstanding. Of course, there are far fewer, but still serve as an attraction to make sure kids are picking up the Bible often. The next thing that is really impressive is that his is a real study bible. Maps, index, dictionary, concordance – it’s all there, more than 70 pages. And it doesn’t stop there. Through out the bible you’ll find sections of learning: Remember it – key verses to memorize What about it – 52 questions on faith, like “Will every good person go to heaven?” Unlock it – because reading scripture can often cause more questions than answers, this section gives hints about what is going on in that section of scripture Guess it...

More Light Painting Resources

Light Doodles is one of the best places to learn about how to paint with light.  Check them out! •    Light Doodles Tutorial: how to make a “light drawing pen” •    Light Doodles Tutorial: light drawing...

The Digital Diet

I came across a couple of great resources for Digital Immigrants who want to become more fluent in the language and tools of Digital Learners.  The Digital Diet is a new book by Andrew Churches, Lee Crocket, and Ian Jukes.  The contributors have also create some “Small Byte” ebooks.  According to the Committed Sardine Blog, each ebook “includes a quick-start guide, examples of how to use this tool in your classroom, and examples of activities which will help cultivate the 21st century fluencies.”  Please note that these resources were created specifically for educators and school settings, but they are really accessible for ministry. •    The Digital Diet – A Small Byte of Mindmeister •    The Digital Diet – A Small Byte of Animoto •    The Digital Diet – A Small Byte of...

The Gospel in 50 Words

I’m always trying to find ways to make the story of Easter creative and fresh for the kids who have tuned it out. It’s sad how repeated truth loses its value to the hearer (is that how trite sayings are born?).  This year I was challenged to see if I could write a mini-saga.  A mini-saga is a 50-word story.  I’m sure you’ve heard of the Six Word Memoirs, a web and print sensation where people see if they can write their life story in only 6 words.  It was Ernest Hemingway who set the precedent, writing a classically sad story (not a memoir), “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Clearly, I am not Ernest Hemingway. (Six words for those of you keeping score on Twitter).  I thought it would be fun to collect 50-word mini-sagas of the Gospel.  We’re going to take these mini-sagas and share them with our 2nd-5th graders this Easter.  I’m praying that hearing the whole story in exactly 50 words from different people will bring the story alive in a way many kids have never heard before.  I’m praying that the stories submitted will impact the kids on the margins. I asked lots and lots of people to contribute, a few helped out.  I’ll post what I have so far and invite you to join the discussion. God loves you.  God hates sin.  Everyone sins.  God sent his son, Jesus, to pay for your sins.  It’s a free gift.  You need to say, “Jesus, I’m sorry for my sin. Thank you for dying on the cross for me.  My life belongs to you.” Would...